Cigar smoking is a time honored tradition that has been enjoyed since before tobacco was introduced to Europe in 1942 by Christopher Columbus. Today there are many different types of cigars and cigar brands that fall into machine made cigar and handmade or premium cigar categories. Recent tax increases have turned many cigarette smokers onto filtered and little cigars such as Phillies Little Cigars and Hav-A-Tampa Little Cigars to name a few. While these machine made cigar brands are seeing new customers, premium cigars such as Rocky Patel and Arturo Fuente are still associated with status. How many times have been watching a movie, looked at magazine, or seen rich lifestyle status associated with a fine spirit such as scotch and delicious looking premium handmade cigar?
From movies to politics premium cigars have been used to show wealth and power. After all who could forget the 1983 American crime drama Scarface and Tony Montana’s Cuban Cigar? If Scarface wasn’t the epitome of wealth and power then I don’t know who is. As far as politics goes look no further than the beloved ex governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger who has also played some iconic movie characters including Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator. It seems that it is not hard to find a picture or read an article involving a cigar and some mention of the ex governor.
If we talk about popularity, the U.S. is the top consuming country by far followed by Germany and the UK. The U.S. and Western Europe account for about 75% of cigar sales worldwide. Cigars have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, helping the economy of many third world countries. For example tobacco export and cigar manufacturing is one of the mainstays of the Nicaraguan economy, generating the country millions of dollars yearly. In the U.S. consumers spent an estimated $90 billion in 2006 on tobacco products, and approximately $3.2 billion was spent on cigars.
Two firms dominate the cigar industry. Altadis, the world’s largest cigar producer produces cigars in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras, and has a 50% stake in Corporación Habanos in Cuba. It also makes cigarettes. Swedish Match, the second largest producer, produces cigars in Honduras, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, the United States, and the Dominican Republic; it also makes chewing and pipe tobacco, snuff, lighters, and matches.
Cigars have been a part of our history for so long. Today not only men, but women also enjoy this old tradition. Modern women tend to like cigar smoking for the same reasons that men do; the taste, the aroma, or the social experience that comes from sharing a smoke with other women or men.
The Future of Cigars
Cigars have come a long way and with new technology we have faster production time and a wider variety of products. With the birth of the internet many non-traditional online cigar stores have become increasingly popular allowing easy access to hundreds of cigar brands and products. Being an industry that has held to old practices and customs, little by little the cigar industry has become more modernize, introducing electronic cigarettes and who knows what could be next.
Want to buy cigars online? Gotham Cigars is an online cigar store that carries all major brands and caters to both the handmade cigar and machine made cigar markets. Gotham Cigars offers a great selection of premium cigars, machine made cigars, filtered cigars, and little cigars; all at discount prices.